Biotech Company VetChip Wins 2024 Purina Pet Care Innovation Grand Prize

By Pet Age Staff//March 22, 2024//

Biotech Company VetChip Wins 2024 Purina Pet Care Innovation Grand Prize

By: Pet Age Staff//March 22, 2024//

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VetChip was selected as the grand prize winner of the 2024 Pet Care Innovation Prize, earning $25,000 and support from the pet care experts at Purina. VetChip was one of five pet care startups from across the U.S., Canada and Australia that pitched their businesses to pet industry influencers and investors at Global Pet Expo. The biotechnology company is dedicated to improving animal health and welfare through pioneering technology that monitors, analyzes, and detects pet health issues. The VetChip is implanted to gather data and alert pet owners via an app if potential issues or signs of illness or injury are detected, allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have our revolutionary biosensor achievements recognized through the Pet Care Innovation Prize 2024,” said VetChip co-founder Garnett Hall, DVM. “This award will help us to unlock a world of possibilities for proactive animal healthcare, including welfare monitoring, nutrition support and detection of diseases. The time spent with the team at Purina has been extremely rewarding and will help immensely to accelerate our R&D efforts.”

VetChip was selected by a panel of judges that included investors, industry experts and Purina executives. In January, five startups were selected from nearly 150 companies to participate in the 2024 class for the Pet Care innovation Prize. Each winner received $25,000 cash and participated in a bootcamp accelerator experience with business experts, industry leaders, veterinarians, and Purina executives to broaden their network, strengthen their business plan, and gain knowledge from across the pet care landscape. The 2024 class of Pet Care Innovation Prize winners represents some of the best innovation happening in the $136.8 billion* pet care industry.

The other 2024 Pet Care Innovation Prize Winners are:

Melbourne, Florida-based SwiftPaws makes playful enrichment products to exercise and entertain pets. Best known for their American-made lure coursing kits, the SwiftPaws team is dedicated to the mental and physical wellbeing of pets and the people who love them. SwiftPaws was featured on Shark Tank in 2022.

Kansas City, Missouri-based BestyBnB bridges the gap between human social services and animal welfare organizations by securing safe, temporary housing for clients’ pets when they are in challenging situations where they cannot care for their pets. By creating and enhancing crisis care and safety net pet programs for organizations that serve people in crisis, BestyBnB helps ensure that clients will seek care and help knowing that their pets are safe.

Chicago, Illinois-based Arch Pet Food offers alternative protein pet treats and food that are food-allergen friendly, highly nutritious, and sustainable. Arch does this by utilizing superfoods like microalgae, insect proteins, and invasive fish as key ingredients.

Vancouver, Canada-based RYERCAT hopes to redefine feline oral health with a toothbrush and dental line designed specifically for feline anatomy. Like many cat owners, the founders of RYERCAT struggled to brush their cats’ teeth, which led them to create a better dental solution to improve the brushing experience for cats and their owners.

“Each of the winners brought so much passion to the program. We were very impressed by VetChip and the entire 2024 class. The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a highlight for all of us at Purina, allowing us to help grow the entrepreneurial petcare network, and bring more solutions to the industry that improve the lives of pets and their owners,” said Bill Broun, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division and Vice President Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Venturing at Purina.

The Pet Care Innovation Prize was created to support and connect with early stage pet care startups that are currently in market with an innovative business addressing pet and pet owner needs in the areas of pet health and wellness, services, technology, and food, treats or litter. The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a collaborative effort of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division and impact investors Active Capital. Previous Pet Care Innovation Prize winners have raised millions of dollars in equity and prizes from investors and accelerator programs across the U.S. Several startups have been successfully acquired and/or made appearances on Shark Tank, the business reality television series where contestants try to convince one of the sharks to invest money in their idea.


*American Pet Products Association